Friday, September 24, 2010

Penguin 10 Essential Classics:

Last year, Penguin released their list of the Ten Essential Classics that everyone must read. It was a fun list and included some of my favorite classic novels.

Since its release, there has been some discussion about novels that needed to be included, so Penguin is asking for votes for the new Ten Essential Classics. Included with the vote is an opportunity to win a tote bag filled with the amazing Penguin editions of the ten new novels.

I already cast my vote, but I figured it would be best to pass along the opportunity to you all!

And in case you were wondering, here are the ten titles I selected (I should point out that I only chose titles I have read. I felt that was fair. That might explain why a certain Bronte title is missing...and some from Tolstoy). And these are in no particular order:

  • The Odyssey by Homer
  • Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  • Le Morte D'Arthur by Thomas Malory
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Good luck if you enter!


  1. I was a bit surprised by some of the books on their original list. Oedipus Rex over all other classics? Of Mice and Men over East of Eden or Grapes of Wrath. Interesting choices. I'm off to cast my vote.

    p.s. Love you list!

  2. Im going to cast my vote later so thanks for the list.

  3. I'm guessing these are the best of the books their publishing company has? I can certainly think of ten better books than the ones they have. I've read four of the ten and two of the four weren't awe-inspiring at all. I got about ten pages into Walden and fell asleep. I think your list is better than theirs!

  4. Leaves of Grass and Middlemarch are two excellent selections!

  5. I love how you and your blog focuses on classic literature; I think it's fast becoming my favorite genre of all. I'm not a great fan of Middlemarch, somehow, it got long and boring to me. But, I'd definitely include Crime and
    Punishment (or practically any Russian novel for that matter)! I'm sure my list would have to include Anna Karenina and something by Dickens. Or, as Roaul Dahl would say, "Dahl's Chickens." ;)

  6. Awesome! I'm going to check it out riiiight nowwww.....

  7. Thanks for the link. (Especially considering you reduced your own chances of winning the tote by sending us all there to enter!)I am going to vote now. I absolutely adore the Penguin Classics!

  8. How hard to only pick 10 top classics! Your list is a really great one--some of those would be on my list as well, but I don't think I could narrow it down to 10!

  9. Great choices! I've read a few of these, but I'd read a few more off of the list from last year.

    Definitely looking forward to casting my vote!

  10. Thanks for the link! I created my list as well, which included a couple of yours too. Crime and Punishment is at the top of my list for sure. If anyone's interested in my thoughts on Crime and Punishment and other Russians (I love Russians!) you can check out my literature blog. It's not as interesting as Allie's yet, but I'm working on it. :) The entry about Crime and Punishment is called "My Favorite." I'd love your feedback!

  11. Avid Reader: Oh I agree. There were some on there I was fine with, but I felt some big titles needed to be added on. I'm glad they're redoing their list!

    Jessica: You're welcome! Good luck!

    SocrMom78: Aw thanks! I haven't read Walden myself, but that isn't good news for when I do!

    Ash: Thank you! I absolutely love Eliot. Her work is amazing. And Leaves of Grass is one of my all-time comfort reads.

    Bellezza: While I am sure that Dickens should be somewhere on my list, I haven't really read anything by him I've enjoyed yet. :)

    kenpen: You're welcome!

    She: Good luck!

  12. Jem: I love Penguin Classics too. Those iconic black bindings are just so beautiful on a shelf. :)

    Trish: Yeah, it was difficult to only pick 10 when there are so many I love!

    Andi: Good luck!

    aebither: I will definitely come by and look around. :) I have a soft spot for blogs with a focus on the classics. :) And I was surprised by how much I loved Crime and Punishment when I read it. And I have loved every Russian novel I've read so far.